Qualities we should aspire to

No-one could describe me as an avid sports fan. That said, I have been genuinely moved by the achievements of our athletes at London 2012 and the qualities they have displayed.

Their commitment, modesty, sense of sportsmanship, dedication, generosity to other competitors, and – as Mo Farrah put it after winning his second gold medal - ‘hard work and graft’ have been obvious for everyone to see.

After watching one post-event interview it struck me that not only do I admire these athletes, I also like them – they embody qualities we should all aspire to. And there’s a message in what they do for non-sporting types like me.

It’s in stark contrast to the behaviour displayed by many footballers whose main motivation seems to be chasing money.

Much has been spoken about ‘legacy’ and inspiring a generation. I hope the legacy of the Olympics is that we all start to ‘own’ the qualities our athletes displayed and try to make them part of our lives, whatever our age. Politicians, bankers and business leaders also take note.

The Olympics weren’t just a way of increasing profile through association and sponsorship – and thereby increasing profit or ‘electability’. They were about things that are far more lasting and important than that: the values that define who we are and how we behave.


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